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Acura MDX Transmission Problems

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  • I think I'll begin looking at a Toyota Rav4 limited. I know its not in the same "class" as an MDX but its 15k less w/none of these issues. {sigh}
  • johnancjohnanc Posts: 2
    edited November 2011
    What is DBW?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    DBW..Drive By Wire...no mechanical connection between the gas pedal and the throttle plate.

    1. Eliminates the need for idle air bypass method.

    2. No need for separate cruise control servo.

    3. No need for secondary VSC/Trac engine dethrottling system.

    4. Engine torque rise is, can be, independent of driver foot feed, "snow mode", "protect the drive train", etc.

    5. In the case of Ford;s gas-guzling EcoBoost engines it allows the use of turbo boost to provide additional linear "throttle" opening once the throttle plate itself is fully open.

    6. For FWD vehicles with engine HP well above 200 it provides a method for automatic, firmware, detuning of the engine in low gear ratios, low speed acceleration, in order to combat instances of loss of directional control due to front wheelspin/slip.

    7. Is also a method for "pre-emptively" dethrottling the engine should VSC/Trac firmware predict an upcoming unstable condition, hard, HARD turn under low speed acceleration, say from a full stop.

    And not least of all.....

    8. Brake over-ride of the throttle plate.
  • The MDX was redesigned in 2010. The toque converter problem seems to have raised its head again in this rendition having seemingly been quiet from approx 2006 until 2010. I suggest you ask on here if anyone has had problems in the specific year in which your proposed vehicle was manufatured. Also, you might look ar carfax (if that's the right name) to see if you can find help there- although I'm not sure. Good luck
  • jvettejvette Posts: 70
    2010 MDX and have the same problems as stated in many of these posts. I only have 18,000 miles on mine. This thing has been a pain since I got it. Low Battery Light, my fault says Acura. Gas Cap light, my fault says Acura. Now the transmission slips when you first take off in the morning on the first gear shift and it shutters when you take off from a light or stop sign. I expected more but have gotten much less from Acura. Think twice before purchasing.
  • I am interested to follow these problems, as I am considering buying a new MDX but want to know about powertrain reliability. A number I googled (so don't know if it is accurate) gives US sales figures of Acura MDX in 2010 as 47,210. Does anybody here know how many 2010s have had low milage transmission or torque converter repairs (presumably mostly done at dealers under warrantee)? In other words is this a design defect where a substantial fraction of MDXes has had repairs and the rest will follow? Seems to me we'll only find out in another couple of years how the new 6-speed transmission/torque converter are performing... and by then the next model generation will be out!
  • Hard to say what percentage of 2010 MDX torque converters will fail, but I'm going to guess it won't reaach 5%. The vehicle in all other respects is so well built and otherwise has had such a fine reliability record, I myself am not at a point where I would advise a propective buyer to go elsewhere. Furthermore, the transmission in covered for 70,000 miles under warranty which means you could have TWO replacements at no cost if the average life time of the part is 30,000 miles-- and that seems to be about the time the problem shows up. Good luck.
  • dmortazdmortaz Posts: 26
    edited November 2011
    What other cars are you considering?! I would make sure you have rationally considered ALL of your alternatives before considering an MDX!!

    We have owned both Lexus and Acura and would not touch Acura MDX with a 30 foot pole!! We have a 2005 MDX and the poor workmanship and poor quality is every where! Compared to Lexus, you will get poor Audio (FM and Speaker sound is just miserable and it's BOSE), Poor leather workmanship, Transmission concerns and to top it all, you will get poor service!

    When it comes to servicing a Luxury brand owners expectations, Lexus gets it and Acura does NOT! Acura Customer Service folks combined with the poor quality of the product has left us no choice, but to avoid Acura! We would NOT recommend Acura to a stranger let alone family and friends.

    Lexus replaced our tries for FREE at 48,000 miles when we complained about the cabin noise! That's what I mean when I am talking about understanding "expectation" from a luxury brand. Compare that to Acura who refused to waive a $1,000 cost to replace our transmission!

    Whose product would you recommend, if you had a similar experience?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Might I suggest temporarily removing the fuse(s) that power the rear drive clutches and see if the symptoms change for the better.
  • You would find the 2010 MDX to be a refined vehicle. Lexus does not have an SUV that compares in size and power. My experience with my dealer and its service department (North Hampton, NH) has been truly outstanding. I am on my fifth Acura, all of them purchased there. Yes, I just had my torque converter replaced at 35,000 miles, but they treated me well and gave me a loaner. I'll probably buy another vehcile before the next 35,000 miles have gone by, but only because I usually do so at just under 50.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    "...Lexus does not have an SUV that compares in size and power..."

    Really...??

    The GX4xx and the LX4xx don't exist....?

    But it would be nice if at least the GX were equipped with the GS's SFI/DFI , more FE conscious, V6. I might even get in line for one.

    And neither of these have to pretend they have "AWD", a much more safe "AWD" vs the SH-AWD system.

    Given a few beefed up, more robust drive train components, the MDX SH-AWD system could easily be a "true" AWD. With a few firmware revisions the MDX could be primarily RWD for cruising, 50/50 split for straight ahead acceleration, 30/70 otherwise.
  • Your post is a little misleading. The Lexus have AWD just as the MDX does. The difference lies in the side-to-side vectoring that the Acura is capable of.

    Note that 4WD is different as it is typically manually adjustable and in some cases can be turned on and off (AWD shifts back and forth based on need and is automatic).

    In ideal conditions, all AWD systems should be rear biased during acceleration as weight is transferred to the rear of the vehicle during launch (physics). Therefore by adding power to the rear wheels, you are able to make the most of the resulting downforce.

    All of this is really has no bearing on this thread however as we are discussing the problems with the MDX and it's weak torque converter and the company's failure to properly address the problem.
  • mav15mav15 Posts: 1
    I am a new owner of pre-owned Acura MDX 2009. Lately I have felt slight jolt or jerk while slowly starting from red light and while slowing down in a stop n go traffic. Its like feeling when gears are shifting. It happens occasionally. Sometimes in slow traffic, if I take foot off the gas and let vehicle slow on its own, i feel this sudden jerk. Coming from sedan usage for years, not sure what I am feeling should be investigated further. Are you suppose to feel (this slight sudden shock or push) while auto gear change in MDX?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    Not sure how old the car is that you are coming from, but newer transmissions seem to be programmed more aggressively.

    They have more speeds, and seem to be programmed to mimic a manual transmission... It's especially noticeable during coasting to a stop, without braking..... aggressive downshifting seems to be the norm...

    Older cars tend to coast freely, only downshifting to keep the engine from stalling.. It's disconcerting, until you get used to it..

    MODERATOR
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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You're describing the full fuel cut technique now being used to conserve fuel. During coastdowns the engine is completely starved of fuel but the transmission is sequentially downshift to keeping the engine turning over.
  • jerrcjerrc Posts: 1
    1st one replaced at 76,000 miles under extended warranty and 2nd one just replaced by third party transmission shop at 146,000 miles. In both cases I had little to no warning prior to complete failure. Third party shop replaced the transmission for $3200 and gave me a 3 year, 100k mile warranty. Acura offered to do it for ~$5200 and give me a 3-year, 24k mile warranty.
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    Bless your 3rd party shop's little heart. What is the name of the 3rd party shop? that seems like a good deal
  • If you purchased extended warranty and have low mileage why would you have to pay anything more than the deductible?
  • Sorry this is a bit off-topic for the transmission category -- I have a Lexus and an MDX. When shopping the MDX vs RX350, the Lexus was much more refined (especially the serenity of the cabin). I bought the MDX because it was just right for my needs -- seated more than 5, great for pulling my camping trailer, decent fuel economy, fun to drive. The dealership experience is worth nothing to me -- I maintain and fix my own vehicles -- but if I have to get the transmission replaced before 150,000 miles I wouldn't get another Acura (I'm currently at 58,000 miles with no significant problems ... fingers crossed ... having just done 3 x 3quart synthetic transmission fluid flush and transfer case fluid change).
  • I'm still curious amongst all those with MDX transmission problems ... does anybody have statistics on what percentage of trannys or torque converters fail (either for the pre-2007, the newer generation 2008-2009, or the 6-speed 20010+)? There is a big difference between 5% (1 out of 20 seems very high to me) and 0.5% (1 out of 200 probably isn't bad). Of course that doesn't help you if you're one of the unlucky 200 :(
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